Is pink eye a brand new COVID symptom?
(KTLA) – A brand new coronavirus subvariant is beginning to unfold within the U.S. and, based on well being specialists, it might be inflicting an annoying symptom to return.
Based on the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, roughly 10% of all COVID circumstances reported final week had been decided to be from the omicron-related XBB.1.16 subvariantbeing referred to by some as Arcturus.
After first being reported in January, the World Well being Group declared XBB.1.16 a variant of curiosity in mid-April, The Hill reports.
The Los Angeles County Division of Public Well being is warning residents that this omicron sub-strain of COVID-19 might include an irritating symptom: conjunctivitis
Generally often known as pink eye, well being officers additionally reported that pink eye might be linked to COVID early within the pandemic. Then once more final 12 months, specialists warned there might be a connection between the then-new omicron variant and itchy, irritated eyes.
Now, some well being officers are reporting an increase in conjunctivitis cases nationwide.
That features Los Angeles County, the place the well being division has warned that pink eye stands out as the latest potential symptom of COVID.
“Observational information suggests that folks contaminated with XBB.1.16 could also be extra more likely to expertise conjunctivitis as a symptom of their COVID an infection, together with extra conventional COVID signs, resembling fever, cough and shortness of breath,” the LA County Well being Division stated in a statement. “Traditionally, conjunctivitis was reported in 1 to three% of COVID-19 circumstances.”
Conjunctivitis happens when the liner that covers your eyelid and eyeball, the conjunctiva, turns into infected, optometrist Dr. Melanie Dombrowski tells Nexstar’s WGHP. Signs embrace eyes turning into pink or crimson, elevated tear manufacturing, discharge from the eyes, and itching, irritation, or burning, based on the CDC.
Pink eye is frequent with respiratory infections just like the chilly and flu.
Nevertheless, with the restricted information obtainable, the division stated it’s “too early to know with certainty” if XBB.1.16 is actually related to greater charges of conjunctivitis.
“Residents needs to be conscious that itchy, watery or crimson eyes could also be an indication of a COVID-19 an infection and these signs shouldn’t be merely dismissed on account of pollen or seasonal allergy symptoms, particularly if somebody extra susceptible to extreme sickness might be uncovered,” the Well being Division stated. “The truth that we’re seeing new strains, with presumably new and totally different signs, tells us that COVID continues to evolve and the best way we take into consideration our protections ought to replicate what we all know.”
It’s best to discuss to your physician in case you have pink eye in addition to ache within the eyes, sensitivity to mild, blurred imaginative and prescient, intense redness, signs that aren’t bettering or worsen, or a weakened immune system, based on the CDC.
Older adults and people with underlying well being situations are inspired to take further precautions to keep away from an infection, which incorporates staying updated on vaccinations, frequent hand washing, and staying house when feeling sick.
Although officers say Arcturus could also be simpler at escaping immune response than different subvariants, it doesn’t seem any extra extreme.
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